Eat SPICY to be Healthy!

Spice IS the spice of LIFE!

Not long ago Penn State University did a study which showed that by adding a combination of turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika had a significant effect on participants’ blood results.  Now this is nothing new!  If you were to check the history books you would see that different cultures have been using these spices to heal the body for as long as they have been around.

Back to the Penn State study… they found that by adding 14g dose of the blend listed above to a 1,200 calorie dinner it caused an immediate reduction in insulin and triglyceride levels in participants.  Blood was taken every 30 minutes for four hours after the meal, and compared with those of a plain meal.  They also found that antioxidant activity was higher after the spicy meal.

Lets’ look at each spice and see what the ancient “witch doctors” said about it and compare it to what “modern day Drs.” are saying:

  • Turmeric
    • The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and has been used in India for over 2500 years. It has been long used for its antiseptic, antibacterial agents and anti-inflammatory properties.
    • The Chinese have long used it for the treatment of depression.
    • But it is now believed that it has proved beneficial in the treatment of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies have shown that when combined with cauliflower it has prevented prostate cancer and stopped the growth of existing cancer.
  • Cinnamon
    • Cinnamon is a small tree that grows in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil, Vietnam, and Egypt. It is one of the oldest known spices and is used in many forms (sticks, powder and oil)
    • Traditional Chinese medicine has used it to treat colds, nausea, diarrhea, improve energy, vitality and improve circulation.
    • Recent studies have shown that Cinnamon effects glucose levels. Roughly a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can reduce fasting glucose by 18 to 29%, triglycerides by 23 to 30%, and LDL cholesterol by 7 to 27% and total cholesterol by up to 26%.
  • Rosemary
    • Rosemary has always been a favorite in aroma therapy and known for its ability to improve mental health. Inhaling rosemary oil can lift your spirits immediately. Many families fix rosemary tea to give relief for colds and sore throats.
    • Modern day studies are showing great potential for its use in the treatment of colon, stomach and breast cancer.
    • Rosemary acts as a fungicide by killing candida yeast and destroying any yeast-infected cells.
    • Rosemary has been shown to protect DNA from cancerous-causing chemicals.
  • Oregano
    • It has long been known for its nutritional, anti-oxidants and disease preventing properties. It contains no cholesterol and is rich in dietary fiber which helps to control cholesterol levels.
    • The leaves and flowering stems are strongly anti-septic.
    • Excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium. Vitamin C which all help the body fight infections.
  • Garlic
    • Now this one everyone knows about. Eating garlic boosts our natural supply of hydrogen sulfide, which acts as an antioxidant and increases blood flow. Even the Greeks would feed garlic to their athletes before they competed in the Olympic games.
    •  To get the most benefits from garlic you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for 15 minutes this triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic.
    • Allicin which gives garlic its aroma and flavor acts as the world’s most powerful antioxidant. When allicin starts to decompose it generates a sulfenic acid which acts as antioxidant.
  • Paprika
    • Paprika contains capsaicin just like peppers. Studies have shown that capsaicin increases blood flow, fights cancer and improves heart health. Read our blog  for additional information on the benefits of cayenne.
    • Paprika is an antibacterial agent and stimulant and can be used to help lower blood pressure, improve circulation and increase the production of saliva and stomach acids to aid digestion.

Lots of health food stores sell these spices in pill form but with little information on the benefits of the pill form I am a firm believer that back to basics including these herbs and spices in your daily diet in their natural state is the best medicine.

Check out our online store for the best selection of these spices. Use the code “Blog” to receive free shipping on any order.


Chef Lippe

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Filed under cayenne pepper, Food, health through eating, heart health, spices

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